NEW YORK (AP) — A Los Angeles man once dubbed “Porn’s New King” was sentenced to over 11 years in prison Wednesday by a judge who said he lived the high life with luxury homes on both coasts as he defrauded dozens of investors of tens of millions of dollars.
Jason Galanis, 46, insisted he has turned his life around before U.S. District Judge P. Kevin Castel imposed an 11-year, 3-month sentence, citing the loss of between $25 million and $65 million by 60 investors.
The Manhattan jurist said anyone who saw Galanis before his 2015 arrest would have been impressed that he owned a $7 million Bel Air mansion, an 8,000-square-foott $10 million Manhattan residence and drove a Bentley worth over $100,000.
But the judge said Galanis had built his fortune with fraud “either for the thrill of the game, being on top of the world in terms of the trappings of wealth, or for his own self-esteem and feelings of accomplishment.”
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Galanis apologized and said he had changed since he was detained without bail last May after he was charged in a separate scheme with cheating a Native American tribe and investors out of $60 million. He has pleaded guilty in that scheme and is awaiting sentencing.
He said he had concluded while behind bars that “there’s something in my decision making process that is deeply flawed.”
“My moral compass is not broken,” he added. “I’ve ignored it. I’ve ignored it willfully at times.”
He said he understands his life in business is over and that he has become “radioactive,” a word he said financial professionals use to describe someone to be avoided.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Brian Blais said the case stemmed in part from the manipulation of the market for a publicly traded company, Gerova Financial Group Ltd., from 2009 to 2011. Galanis was portrayed as the ringleader of a multimillion-dollar fraud scheme that secretly acquired shares of Gerova and then manipulated the market by cashing out.
“This is greed plain and simple, money to line his pockets so he could live the high life,” Blais said.
Forbes magazine labeled Galanis “Porn’s New King” in 2004 after he bought the nation’s biggest payment processor for internet pornography.